Women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day while pregnant increase the risk of their baby suffering a cot death, according to a study.
The findings from the New Zealand study of the parents of almost 400 babies who died and 1,600 parents of normal babies suggests that heavy consumption of caffeine drinks, including tea and cola, during pregnancy could be risky.
However, experts challenged the findings. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths said the research was "interesting" but was carried out between 1987 and 1990, before the dramatic decline which followed official advice to put babies to sleep on their backs, and it was unclear whether the same association would be found now.
Mary Daly, of the Health Visitors Association, said the findings, published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, had not been presented in the context of other known risk factors such as sleeping position, smoking and temperature. There was nothing in them to justify changing advice already given to pregnant women to drink beverages in moderation, she said.Reuse content